HealthyLivestock is carrying out a research programme to study the contributions of enhanced animal health and welfare on reducing the need to use antimicrobials in pigs and poultry.
Internationally renowned experts and scientists from the European Union and China are working together to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Academia, research institutes, private partners and companies decided to join forces for a better health and welfare of pigs and poultry.
Infectious diseases are the most common diseases in the world. Such diseases can be very serious and life-threatening. Many of those diseases are caused by organisms such as bacteria, whereas the medicines against the bacterial diseases, are called antimicrobials. They are one of the most valuable inventions in the history of human and animal medicine and since their discovery, antimicrobials saved the lives of millions of people and animals. However, every antimicrobial use inevitably promotes the emergence of defence mechanisms by the disease agent. Bacteria will become resistant to the treatment, making the once so valuable antimicrobial worthless. In livestock production systems animals are often held under suboptimal conditions. Moreover, efforts to maximize production put further pressure on the animals’ defense system, making the animals more susceptible to infections. Finally, this may result in situations where-in the animals get sick and have to be treated with antimicrobials, with an enhanced risk for the emergence of AMR.
HealthyLivestock comprises two pillars: an EU pillar and a Chinese pillar. The EU part is funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the grant agreement number 773436. The Chinese part is funded by the Ministry of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China.